Match Wraps

Hostplus SANFLW League Prelim Final Match Wrap

Sturt ruck Zoe Prowse was a huge influence in her team's win against Glenelg. Picture - Cory Sutton

Compiled by Zac Milbank

Glenelg’s Piper Window stretches over the top of Sturt’s Kiera Mueller for an overhead mark. Picture – Cory Sutton

Sturt will play in its first Hostplus SANFLW Grand Final after holding off a fast-finishing Glenelg by 17 points in the Preliminary Final at Wigan Oval.

Desperate to respond to a disappointing performance against North Adelaide in the Second Semi-Final, the Double Blues benefited from their supreme efficiency to book another date against the Roosters in the 2022 title-decider next Sunday.

Despite having 14 fewer inside 50 entries, Michael O’Connor’s charges made the most of their accuracy in front of goal to oust the reigning premier with three less scoring shots.

With Zoe Prowse a difference-maker in the ruck, Sturt hit the front seconds before the quarter-time siren when Alysha Healy nailed an impressive set shot from the boundary.

Healy and fellow forward Ally Ladas were particularly creative whenever the ball entered the Double Blues’ forward 50m and this time it was Ladas setting up Ellen Lynch with a centering pass to run into an open goal.

It gave the hosts a nine-point lead at the main change which was extended to 15 when Healy kicked truly from her set shot 20m out, nine minutes into the third quarter.

Then Ladas and Healy combined to produce the play of the day five minutes later when Ladas toe-poked cleverly to Healy who fed the ball back to her via handball to run into an open goal.

Ladas responded again with another goal 10 minutes into the final term after Tigers veteran Chelsea Packer had trimmed the margin to 14 by finishing off a nice passage of play for her team’s first goal late in the third quarter.

Sturt’s Kiera Mueller rebounds from defence. Picture – Cory Sutton

Dangerous Glenelg forward Caitlyn Swanson wasted no time in kicking her set shot from 20m with six minutes to play, giving her side a faint hope trailing by 11 points.

But it was snuffed out by Sturt’s fierce defending and a celebratory major to India Rasheed, who ran into an open goal with just 18 seconds to play.

Prowse finished with 19 disposals, 10 clearances, six tackles and 37 hit outs to be the best player on the ground while team-mates Kiera Mueller (16 disposals) and Kate Harris (15 disposals, eight tackles) were also hard-nosed in their approach.

Glenelg, without talented half-back Sarah Goodwin, had Jessica Bates rack up 25 disposals, 11 tackles and eight clearances while Matilda Scholz ensured Prowse didn’t have it all her way in the ruck by accumulating 16 disposals and seven clearances.

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